Fall is my favorite time of year for a myriad of reasons. I love visits to our local pumpkin patch, the smell of apple spice candles, and the feeling of cool breezes through my opened windows. But above all, fall is a reminder of my true colors in Christ.
My home is in the beautiful Ozarks region of Missouri, and we are blessed to have gorgeous fall foliage. As I’ve gone through my recovery over the last several years, God has used the autumn leaves to teach me an important life truth. The leaves on the trees are filled with green chlorophyll most of the year, but all the while, the true colors are hiding underneath, just waiting for the right time to burst forth. And when the true colors emerge, the sight is breathtaking. The same miracle happens for those recovering from eating disorders.
When I was in the depths of my struggle, everything about my life was encapsulated by the war within me. My relationships, personality, and passions were all suppressed as my eating disorder took over my whole being. Somewhere along the way, I realized that I didn’t recognize myself anymore. Nothing brought me joy or fulfillment, and I felt like a truly empty body in every aspect of the word. But as I took tiny steps toward recovery, God revealed amazing glimpses of my true colors.
One exercise that helped me push toward recovery was drawing on one sheet of paper what my eating disorder wanted for me, and then drawing on another sheet of paper what God wanted for me. The eating disorder paper was filled with capitalized words and exclamation marks, but the paper with God’s design was filled with colorful, joyful pictures. The eating disorder wanted me to be alone, to be afraid, and never take any risks. God wanted me to explore the outdoors, sing loud, paint pictures, enjoy cooking, and go on adventures.
It took several years, but I began taking healthy risks in my hobbies, my social life, and the overall way that I live my life. A few months ago, I drew a new picture entitled, “Who Am I?” In the middle, I wrote “Jesus Follower,” because I always want that to be central to who I am. I then wrote words around the page that described different aspects of who I am, such as wife, foster mom, cook, writer, thrift store shopper, traveler, artist, and more. I hung it on my refrigerator and now I add words as I develop new aspects of myself. These are the true colors that God intended for me.
Changing Seasons in My Recovery, Krissy Close
The Art of Being, book resource
Mindset Needed for Recovery, video